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  • Building Solar panels to heat water

    I have heard about building or actually DIY solar panels to heat hot water, by doing so I could save a hundred dollars from the electricity bill. The problem is I am not skillful at it, could you guy refer me some instruction website or help?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sunny Bay View Post
    I have heard about building or actually DIY solar panels to heat hot water, by doing so I could save a hundred dollars from the electricity bill. The problem is I am not skillful at it, could you guy refer me some instruction website or help?
    You should use solar water collector. Use solar panel which produce electricity to heat hot water make no sense.

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    • #3
      Here's an extensive DIY system http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects.../solarshed.htm

      but for starters, you are likely looking for small panels you can run water through, to
      help heat it ?

      The Feb/Mar 2008 issue of Home Power magazine had an article on solar hot water collectors.

      http://www.solarroofs.com/ has a lot of water heating panels, you can install yourself.

      Generally, home built stuff, won't last as long as factory built (good stuff) items.

      here's some other ideas:
      http://www.floridasolarhotwater.com/quickconnect.html hook the hot water to your tank

      http://www.butlersunsolutions.com/ht...nd-46-reg.html
      get the heat into your tank.

      Note that systems that use Glycol based fluid, need to have a double wall heat exchanger, as the fluid is poisonous if it leaks into your house water supply.
      Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
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      • #4
        no federal or tax credit, is it even worth building them by yourself?

        I'm an avid DIY, but with no federal or tax credit, is it even worth building them by yourself?

        the thermal panels look a LOT easier to make, seriously copper tube, black paint, insulation, pretty cheap stuff!

        I haven't priced out commercial systems, but if they are 55% more expensive it would make sense to NOT build them and just buy them and take advantage of tax rebates.

        Comment


        • #5
          Solar hot water heaters are not nearly so competitive as solar PV.

          DIY can pay off and can be well done where it survives.

          Solar thermal is generally much more efficient than solar PV as well.

          Russ
          [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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          • #6
            There are tons of resources for DIY solar water heating via panels, batch systems, etc. If you don't want to go broke, nuts or ape-shhhh, just follow the KISS method and all will be fine. Most simple and effective method is to set up a pre-heater, then pipe that to your existing water heater...should cut electricity usage substantially..

            see here for tons of info on this:
            http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects...er_heating.htm

            Just use common sense and steer clear of anything that looks too complicated or intimidating.. some of the simplest setups are the most effective, both energy-wise and dollar-wise
            Full-time RVing for a safer, cheaper, more sustainable future ---
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            • #7
              If you look on the main page of Solar Panel Talk you will see the link to Build It Solar - always there.
              [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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              • #8
                hi sunny bay i guess you should try to check this one i guess it will help you.
                Last edited by russ; 02-16-2011, 06:02 AM. Reason: removed link

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                • #9
                  Looked at the site - that guy seems to be a couple of cards short of a full deck. Bad information plus paranoid that the Wikipedia guys are out to get him.

                  On our home page (click on the forum button) you will find a link to build it solar.

                  Much better!

                  Russ
                  [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                    Here's an extensive DIY system http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects.../solarshed.htm

                    but for starters, you are likely looking for small panels you can run water through, to
                    help heat it ?

                    The Feb/Mar 2008 issue of Home Power magazine had an article on solar hot water collectors.

                    http://www.solarroofs.com/ has a lot of water heating panels, you can install yourself.

                    Generally, home built stuff, won't last as long as factory built (good stuff) items.

                    here's some other ideas:
                    http://www.floridasolarhotwater.com/quickconnect.html hook the hot water to your tank

                    http://www.butlersunsolutions.com/ht...nd-46-reg.html
                    get the heat into your tank.

                    Note that systems that use Glycol based fluid, need to have a double wall heat exchanger, as the fluid is poisonous if it leaks into your house water supply.



                    The red link above is really not a very good product. Yes it is easy but the size of the heat exchanger is so small to almost be inneffective and unless it is used in a tank without a back up element that is used will barely work at all.

                    Most systems that use glycol use food grade propylene glycol. This is a product you will find in cough medicine etc. It is not toxic and in most jurisdictions will not require a double wall heat exchanger.
                    If you are using ethelyene glycol then that statement would be true in many jurisdictions. It would also be prudent however look carefully at heat exchanger types. The best all around for both is a reverse loop pumped on both sides.
                    These are available from Heliodyne and others or can be home built. Parasitic losses will be higher with the two pumps but higher performance coupled with using a standard inexpensive electric water heater may outweigh those losses.
                    NABCEP certified Technical Sales Professional

                    [URL="http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showthread.php?5334-Solar-Off-Grid-Battery-Design"]http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...Battery-Design[/URL]

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                    • #11
                      Well you didn't say what you intend to do with the hot water. I am guessing Domestic Hot Water for showers, washing etc. I suggest looking for the City, state, utility regulations before you build & especially BUY a system. Like solar PV you can run into some serious regulation obstacles to heat water/glycol for DHW.

                      I built a solar thermal hot water panel for heating which is separated from DHW systems.

                      Good luck!
                      Jeff

                      Originally posted by Sunny Bay View Post
                      I have heard about building or actually DIY solar panels to heat hot water, by doing so I could save a hundred dollars from the electricity bill. The problem is I am not skillful at it, could you guy refer me some instruction website or help?
                      [url="http://solarpaneltalk.com/album.php?u=2072"]First panel 40 volts, 140+ watts[/url]

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                      • #12
                        I also heard about building or actually DIY solar panels to heat hot water, by doing so I could save a hundred dollars from the electricity bill.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          is it true that the you should use solar water collector. Use solar panel which produce electricity to heat hot water make no sense. ?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            now i know that the solar PV type can run into some serious regulation obstacles to heat water/glycol for DHW. thank you for advising me..

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              i agree that for starters, you are likely looking for small panels you can run water through, to help heat it ?

                              Comment

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